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Auchter's Art: Deer, deer everywhere

John Auchter
For Michigan Radio

I was 9 years old when my family moved to Michigan. There were some mysteries I needed to figure out. Like, why did November 15 seem to be a holiday? It was explained to me that it was opening day...for firearm season...for hunting deer...in the woods...for fun...for food...also for interior design.

It took me a while, but eventually I did catch on. (Well, not so much about why somebody would want to mount deer heads on wall.) I lacked context because I didn't come from a hunting family and there weren't any deer in my suburban neighborhood. Seeing a deer was something of an exotic experience. It required either going to that Up North place where everybody seemed to disappear to, or driving slowly down Saginaw Street in front of the GM plant in Grand Blanc and squinting into the wooded, fenced-in park where deer (for some reason) were stocked.

Times have changed. Now I can see deer whenever I want by walking out in my city yard at dusk or dawn. There are always herds of varying sizes, and from early spring till mid-fall, my wife and I have to make sure to spray repellant on our landscaping. Otherwise, the hostas and other perennials become a salad bar. (We gave up on food gardening a long time ago.)

Anyway, I thought deer and managing deer populations would be a topic all Michiganders might enjoy and provide something of a break from pandemic news. Then, just after I finished the drawing, I saw an NPR story, "How SARS-CoV-2 in American deer could alter the course of the global pandemic."

There seems to be no escaping it.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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